Cold Wave: Area greeted by blizzard warning while Dayton cancels school for Monday
WORTHINGTON — Oh, the weather outside is frightful, and local area residents aren’t finding it so delightful.
“The safety of Minnesota’s school children must be our first priority,” said Dayton said. “I have made this decision to protect all our children from the dangerously cold temperatures now forecasted for next Monday. I encourage Minnesotans of all ages to exercise caution in these extreme weather conditions.”
The decision to close schools across the state was announced today in order to give school administrators, teachers and parents sufficient time to plan for these closures. The Minnesota Department of Education will be coordinating with school districts throughout the day to notify the public about Monday’s school closings.
The Minnesota Department of Transportation also advised no unnecessary travel in Nobles County on Friday due to the blizzard conditions. Officials didn’t anticipate any interstate or highway closures as of Friday afternoon.
Nobles County saw gusts up to 35 mph Friday, and Marc Chenard, a meteorologist with the U.S. National Weather Service in Sioux Falls, S.D., said it will only get colder.
“Unfortunately, Saturday night we’re expecting the raw temperature to be minus-10 degrees, with the winds picking up in the evening and making it 30 below for the night,” said Chenard.
“Sunday night isn’t looking much better,” he added. “The daytime low temperature is expected to be minus-20 degrees with the wind chill picking up in the evening again, making it a possible minus-50 degrees throughout Sunday night.”
Chenard offered advice when handling these arctic conditions.
“The main thing is when it gets this cold is to limit the time outside,” he explained. “It only takes five minutes for exposed skin to get frostbite. So if you have to go outside, dress in layers and try and limit your time in the cold.”
Ecumen Meadows was also taking precautions Friday and being proactive when caring for their residents.
“We’re already rescheduling non-emergency doctors’ appointments for patients that were regularly scheduled for Monday,” Ecumen Meadows Marketing Director Jodi Bentele said. “We don’t want to risk it.
“We offer what we call Meadows Mart, where we sell milk, bread, eggs and other necessities so residents don’t have to go outside,” Bentele added. “Local area pharmacies like GuidePoint and Sterling have been great working with us to deliver patients medication so they don’t have to go outside. It’s just delivered right to their door.”
Dr. Martin Fedko, medical director of the emergency department at Sanford Medical Center Worthington, described the typical patients the hospital sees due to extreme cold.
“We mainly see what we call more of our vulnerable patients,” he said. “For instance, children or the elderly are some of the people we see in coming, but a lot of the time we get intoxicated people who got lucky and were found in the snow by someone calling it in to 911.”
Fedko also shared some tell-tale signs of when being in the cold takes a dangerous toll.
“As soon as you feel your extremities, your fingers and toes start to have severe pain, that is when you need to get indoors immediately,” he said. “The biggest thing to counteract that pain is to instantly try and re-warm and, if the pain continues, to seek emergency medical care.”
Daily Globe Reporter Erin Trester may be reached at 376-7322.